FREEPORT — For 14 years, a trio of women known as the Freeport Flag Ladies have occupied a corner of Main Street every Tuesday morning to wave American flags at passing motorists in a simple act of patriotism.

This Tuesday, on the heels of a controversy between the flag ladies and a mother and son who lost a loved one in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Elaine Greene, JoAnn Miller and Carmen Footer were joined by an estimated 150 supporters.

The public demonstration was free of controversy, but it did take a jarring turn when one of the flag ladies’ supporters was hit by a car about 8:45 a.m.

The victim, Rhoda O’Leary of Norway, was in the crosswalk on School Street at the intersection with Main Street when she was hit by a sport utility vehicle that was turning onto School Street. O’Leary was knocked back and hit her head on the pavement. She was taken away by an ambulance and was in fair condition at Maine Medical Center in Portland on Tuesday night.

The driver of the SUV stopped and appeared visibly shaken by the incident. Members of the large crowd aided the victim before rescue workers arrived.

Before the accident occurred, the flag ladies had been joined in their weekly demonstration by members of the Patriot Riders, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle and other military groups who lined a section of Main Street. Even first lady Ann LePage, an ardent supporter of veterans issues, was on hand to support the flag ladies.

Greene said she didn’t know what to expect during Tuesday’s demonstration, but was touched by the support.

“This is why this country is great,” she said. “Because of people like this who took time to come out and come together.”

Although supporters of the flag ladies occupied all four corners at the intersection of Main and School streets just down from L.L. Bean’s flagship store, there also was a small group of high school students who came out to support Liza Moore, a Freeport elementary school teacher who, a few weeks ago, decided to demonstrate with her own message to counter the flag ladies. Moore, in the same spot typically used by the flag ladies, has held signs in support of refugees from other countries and urging Americans to be more welcoming of outsiders.

Moore’s presence bothered the flag ladies, but not because of her message, they said.

Greene said the issue was Moore’s son, James Roux III, who she said has been harassing them since a memorial event on Sept. 11, which Roux disrupted in a one-man protest that got him arrested.

Roux, whose father, James Roux, was killed in the Sept. 11 attacks, had said he was offended that the flag ladies had turned the annual Sept. 11 remembrance into an event celebrating veterans and members of the military, rather than a solemn event marking the tragedy.

The flag ladies, after the Sept. 11 memorial event, requested a protection order against Roux, Greene said.

Because of that pending order, Roux has not been protesting the flag ladies’ regular Tuesday demonstrations. But Greene said Moore’s presence there has itself been a form of harassment.

“We think she has every right to hold her signs; that’s not what this is about,” Greene said.

Moore did not attend Tuesday’s event, but some of her supporters said she and her son have been mischaracterized by the flag ladies and their supporters.

“I think Ms. Moore stands for something bigger than patriotism,” said Lindsay Cartmell, 18. “I’m not against the flag ladies at all, but I don’t think there is a clean line here. Why can’t you support troops and veterans and be welcoming to refugees, too?”

The flag ladies and their supporters, including Ann LePage, insisted that their message was not political. But their supporters appeared to represent a more conservative segment of the population: Most were older men and women, some wearing “Don’t Tread On Me” patches that are popular with the conservative tea party movement. Some Republican lawmakers and former lawmakers were in attendance. Ray Richardson, a well-known local conservative talk radio host, broadcast his show from the event and had helped increase turnout by promoting the flag ladies’ efforts last week.

Chloe Hight, one of the students who held a sign in support of Moore, said some people tried to get her to move and criticized her for being there, but mostly left the students alone.

“I feel a little outnumbered here, but that’s OK,” she said.

Many others were glad to see the students out there with their own message, although some questioned what refugees had to do with the flag ladies’ message of support for the military. Even Greene applauded the students for coming out.

After the event ended, a group of Liza Moore’s supporters walked across the street to shake hands with the flag ladies.

They all left peacefully.